Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

Relation violences sexuelles basées sur le genre, coutume et église

L'église est un lieu d'amour, de protection, de paix où l'homme et la femme créés à l'image de Dieu doivent vivre en harmonie. Dieu dans sa bonté, a permis l'utilisation des femmes pour le bien être de son peuple malgré la déconsidération de la femme. C'est dans cet environnement que Jésus est né. Il a encouragé la promotion de la femme, c'est pourquoi il n' a pas condamné la femme adultère, il a eu un entretien avec la femme samaritaine, Marie sa mère a eu le privilège de le porter dans son sein, Déborah est allé au champ de bataille, Miriam a dirigé le peuple d'Israel avec ses freres, etc, ce sont des exemples édifiants de la Bible qui montre que la femme a des atouts et qu'elle a servi à coté de l'homme. Cependant, l'impact de la coutume est toujours visible dans l'église, la femme continue à être marginalisée, déconsiderée, loin des instances des décisions. Dans certaines églises, elle est évangesliste, choriste, intrecesseur, encadreuse des enfants dans l'école de dimanche, s'occupe du sociale( deuil, mariage, naissance, démunis, veuves orphelins....) et quelques oeuvres du développement au profit des hommes dans l'église car la plupart de fois, son élèvage sert à récevoir les visiteurs de l'église, son argent, sa force, son intelligence, sont utilisés à d'autres fins de l'église etc... simplement par ce que la femme ne doit pas repliquer quand l'homme a déja parlé. D'ailleurs elle n"est pas permise de parler devant les hommes ni s'exprimer librement car certains pensent que la femme ne peut rien dire de bon. Si un homme lance une idée terre à terre, les autres le reprimande qu'il parle comme une femme. Si une femme a bien agi, celle-là n'est pas une femme c'est un homme comme si les bons actes sont posées par les hommes seulement et l'homme n'est peut jamais se tromper. Les personnes de mauvaises volonté en profite pour mal interpréter quelques versets bibliques tels que 1Corinthien 14, 34-35 qui defend à la femme de parler dans l'assemblée; et 1Thimothée2,10-15 parle de la soumission et ne doit pas enseigner. Pour cela nous n'avons pas des pasteurs femmes ni des prêtres, ni anciens de l'église dans plusieurs communautés religieuses. Combien des femmes professeurs des universités chrétiennes qui enseignent les pasteurs? Après les études, les pasteurs recoivent des églises à diriger et pas leurs professeurs. La coutume en soi est elle à écarter totalement ou quel est le rôle de l'église vis a vis de la coutume ? A suivre

English translation by PulseWire member milsgra

The church is a place of love, of protection, of peace where men and women created in the image of God must live in harmony. Although women have been discredited, God has granted their purpose for the well being of his people. It is in such an environment that Jesus was born. He encouraged the advancement of women; hence he did not punish the Samaritan woman. His mother, Mary, had the privilege of carrying him in her bosoms. Deborah went to the battlefield. Miriam along with her brothers led the people of Israel etc. These are edifying examples found throughout the Bible proving how valuable women are and how she served alongside men. Meanwhile the cultural impacts are still visible in the church, women are still marginalized, discredited, kept far from decision-making roles. In some congregation she is, evangelist, choir member, intercessor, she shoulders the young through her teaching in Sunday school, takes care of the social obligations (mourning, weddings, birth, the homeless, the widows and the orphans….). She is also in charge of other aspects of the church such as the developmental aspects to support the men of the congregation, for in several instances, her herd is used to feed guests, her money, her strength, her wisdom are all used for the progression of the church etc.. Only because she is a woman she is not allowed to have the last word when a man has spoken. Moreover she is not allowed to speak in the presence of men nor to express her point of view freely for some believe that women have nothing positive to say. If a man throws a closed-minded idea, it is said he is speaking like a woman. If a woman acts honorably, she is thus not a woman, rather a man as if good deeds only come from men and men are never wrong. People of ill-faith have taking advantage of this to misinterpret certain biblical verses such as 1corinthians 14:34-35 which does not permit women to speak in the assembly; and 1thimothy 2: 10-15 which talks about submission and to not teach. Thus we have no women serving neither as pastors or priests, nor as elders in many religious communities. How many women scholars in the universities teaching pastors? After the diploma, the pastors are assigned churches to lead but never do their professors get that opportunity. Should culture have a role to play in the church or vice versa? To be continued

Violence towards women in the church

Should culture be ignored? No, there are some traditional values and African customs specially some Congolese ones to keep. These are: Respect, solidarity, work initiative, obedience, virginity for the young girls etc. All these are in place to eschew certain nefarious consequences in an individual’s life, namely the bible stresses these particularly. The church should draw its inspiration from the Holy Scriptures to insure women’s liberation lauded by Jesus-Christ. Certain practices such as: Levirate (the custom of marriage by a man with his brother’s widow), sororate (subsequent or concurrent marriage with a wife’s sister), forced marriages, premature marriages (child brides), and sexual harassment should not be present in the church. Regrettably, the church accepts to validate and bless those unions. And lately the widowers marry the granddaughters who will remain with the grand kids in the care of the older siblings when the father-grand father passes away. Certain churches or prayer cells dare break up marriage under the pretenses that the husband or the man is not the right spouse. Others support prostitution in the church especially towards sterile women who are being duped by accepting sacred seed that are being compared to traditional purification rituals where the widow before remarrying has to sleep with a very well known purifying man to avoid bad luck with the new husband or to spare the children. Fortunately the church has finally opened it eyes on that aspect. Understandably the church has a long journey ahead. It must continue to play its prophetic and theological role for a better society free of discrimination and marginalization, for it is where one must find the meaning of life.

This story was written for World Pulse’s Ending Violence Against Women Digital Action Campaign.

World Pulse believes that women's stories, recommendations, and collective rising leadership can—and will—bring an end to gender-based violence. The EVAW Campaign elicits powerful content from women on the ground, strengthens their confidence as vocal grassroots leaders, and ensures that influencers and powerful institutions hear their stories.
Learn more »

Comments

La coutume est elle à écarter? Non, il y a des valeurs à sauvegarder dans la tradition et coutumes africaine en particulier congolaise. Il s'agit: du respect, la solidarité, initiation au travail, l'obéissance, la virginité pour les jeunes filles etc; cela a sa place pour éviter certaines conséquences néfastes dans la vie de l'individu, à savoir que la Bible aussi y met un accent particulier. L'église devrait s’inspirer des Saintes écritures pour confirmer la libération de la femme prôner par Jésus Christ. Des choses comme le lévirat, le sororat, les mariages précoces, les mariages forcés, le harcèlement sexuel, ne devraient pas apparaître dans l'église. A notre grand regret, l'église accepte de bénir ces mariages. Et ce dernier temps les veufs épousent les petites filles qui resteront avec les petits enfants ou charger les grands frères et sœurs à la mort du papa grand père. Certaines églises ou chambres des prières se permettent de dissoudre les mariages soit disant que l'homme ou le mari n'est pas le vrai partenaire! D'autres accentuent la prostitution dans l'église, surtout envers les femmes stériles qu'on trompent avec la semence sacrée a comparer avec les rites de purifications coutumières où la femme veuve avant de se remarier doit aller coucher avec un homme purificateur connu de tous pour éviter les malheurs avec le nouveau mari ou soit épargner les enfants. Heureusement que l'église a ouvert l’œil de ce coté-ci. Comprenez que l'église a encore un long chemin à parcourir. Il doit continuer à jouer son rôle prophétique et théologique pour une meilleur société sans discrimination ni marginalisation car c'est là qu'on doit trouver l'idéale de la vie.

The church is a place of love, of protection, of peace where men and women created in the image of God must live in harmony. Although women have been discredited, God has granted their purpose for the well being of his people. It is in such an environment that Jesus was born. He encouraged the advancement of women; hence he did not punish the Samaritan woman. His mother, Mary, had the privilege of carrying him in her bosoms. Deborah went to the battlefield. Miriam along with her brothers led the people of Israel etc. These are edifying examples found throughout the Bible proving how valuable women are and how she served alongside men. Meanwhile the cultural impacts are still visible in the church, women are still marginalized, discredited, kept far from decision-making roles. In some congregation she is, evangelist, choir member, intercessor, she shoulders the young through her teaching in Sunday school, takes care of the social obligations (mourning, weddings, birth, the homeless, the widows and the orphans….). She is also in charge of other aspects of the church such as the developmental aspects to support the men of the congregation, for in several instances, her herd is used to feed guests, her money, her strength, her wisdom are all used for the progression of the church etc.. Only because she is a woman she is not allowed to have the last word when a man has spoken. Moreover she is not allowed to speak in the presence of men nor to express her point of view freely for some believe that women have nothing positive to say. If a man throws a closed-minded idea, it is said he is speaking like a woman. If a woman acts honorably, she is thus not a woman, rather a man as if good deeds only come from men and men are never wrong. People of ill-faith have taking advantage of this to misinterpret certain biblical verses such as 1corinthians 14:34-35 which does not permit women to speak in the assembly; and 1thimothy 2: 10-15 which talks about submission and to not teach. Thus we have no women serving neither as pastors or priests, nor as elders in many religious communities. How many women scholars in the universities teaching pastors? After the diploma, the pastors are assigned churches to lead but never do their professors get that opportunity. Should culture have a role to play in the church or vice versa? To be continued
Violence towards women in the church
Should culture be ignored? No, there are some traditional values and African customs specially some Congolese ones to keep. These are: Respect, solidarity, work initiative, obedience, virginity for the young girls etc. All these are in place to eschew certain nefarious consequences in an individual’s life, namely the bible stresses these particularly. The church should draw its inspiration from the Holy Scriptures to insure women’s liberation lauded by Jesus-Christ. Certain practices such as: Levirate (the custom of marriage by a man with his brother’s widow), sororate (subsequent or concurrent marriage with a wife’s sister), forced marriages, premature marriages (child brides), and sexual harassment should not be present in the church. Regrettably, the church accepts to validate and bless those unions. And lately the widowers marry the granddaughters who will remain with the grand kids in the care of the older siblings when the father-grand father passes away. Certain churches or prayer cells dare break up marriage under the pretenses that the husband or the man is not the right spouse. Others support prostitution in the church especially towards sterile women who are being duped by accepting sacred seed that are being compared to traditional purification rituals where the widow before remarrying has to sleep with a very well known purifying man to avoid bad luck with the new husband or to spare the children. Fortunately the church has finally opened it eyes on that aspect. Understandably the church has a long journey ahead. It must continue to play its prophetic and theological role for a better society free of discrimination and marginalization, for it is where one must find the meaning of life.

irmia's picture

Re-intepretation of religious verses

Dear Ruhebuza:

I agree that somehow religion could be the power tools to fight against violence against woman, especially for community with strong religion belief. It is the matter how we re-interpret the verses. In my country, Indonesia, we have several strong religion leaders who work on this subject, and somehow it works to educate people, though pro and contra always exist.

Mia

Myrthe's picture

Change

Thank you for sharing your ideas about how women are not allowed to play an equal role to men in church institutions. Thank you also for sharing how the church condones different kinds of abuse of women. In your opinion, what role could women themselves play in addressing the issues of violence against women that you mention? How can women and men change this situation? What do you think needs to be done to change this?

nusrat1977's picture

Quite unfortunate!

Dear Ruhebuza,
It is quite unfortunate but yes, you are right. The church, the religious sacred places should be a place of love, place of harmony. In fact, the essence of all the religions lies in peace and harmony and teach love. But unfortunately, as Imia also pointed out religious verses are often re-interpreted to benefit a certain section of people. They hide their crimes behind the religious words by twisting the meanings, which is horrific. At the same time, I do not understand why, people cant accept a woman to be more knowledgeable, more wise and more correct than men. May be it is just their ego and pride which prevents them to accept the fact. They always think woman as their subordinate and lower than them. I do not know whether it will ever be possible to bring that equality. But definitely creating awareness and asking for our rights will be a seed for the plant of equality to be grown and to bear fruit.
Lets all work towards it, act locally to create a bigger effect globally, to give the woman her right in every level beyond the border of geography, race, religion and socio-economic status.
Thank you
Love and regards
Nusrat

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved. ..........Hellen Keller

Dearest,

Your description of the role of the church in upholding forms of violence against women was very moving and very clarifying. For religious women the church is a wonderful refuge and for a lot of people around the world, the church and the Bible serve as moral guidelines. It is thus important to clarify the church's role in promoting and validating practices that are harmful to women and harmful to the entire society. Do you think speaking out against these abouses in your community helps? Do you think explaining to women around you how the church should work to protect women helps or do such women already share your views? How do women in Congo relate to the churches..are they religious, do they seek help from pastors and prayers?

all best and keep up the good work

Irina Costache

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Letters to a Better World

Letters to a Better World

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

VIRGIN ISLANDS: Queens Igniting Fire Ending Violence

VIRGIN ISLANDS: Queens Igniting Fire Ending Violence

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

World Pulse Launches our Inaugural Community Advisory Board!

World Pulse Launches our Inaugural Community Advisory Board!

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative